My Biggest Online Marketing Mistake

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Image via Wikipedia

Inspired by Michael Martine’s confession, I thought I’d share my biggest online marketing mistake.

It was really dumb.  Especially considering my background.  What was it?

I fell for the RSS/subscribers blogging stuff – and didn’t put enough energy and time into building my email list.

Old direct marketing words of wisdom: ‘The money is in the list.”  In case you missed it the first time, “The money is in the list!”

Build yours.  Offer a free ebook, or a video course, or an email course.  Build that list!


Because people who trust you enough to welcome you into their email inbox (or snail mailbox in the old days), are your best source of buyers.

You “visit” them every week or every month.  They know you, they rely on you, and they trust your expertise and advice. Subscribers are far better prospects than someone clicking on a banner ad on a web site or a search result in Google. In fact, email subscribers convert far better than any other internet advertising option.

Don’t believe me?

There are three times as many email accounts as social media accounts (according to Kissmetrics, as of 2012). Not every business is on Facebook, but they all have email, and they all check it regularly.

It’s more business-oriented than Facebook or Twitter. And, you can speak to subscribers directly. You can personalize your emails with their names, their past purchases (if any), or data about their behavior.  You can’t segment Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Plus, with Facebook’s algorithm shenanigans it’s tough to even reach your audience in the first place!

And, email marketing drives more clicks and more conversions too.

OK, your turn.  What’s your biggest online marketing mistake?

How to Get a Great Landing Page

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Image thanks to svilen001

A website landing page is the sales pitch you can’t give in person. It’s the page that does all the heavy lifting of selling your product or service.  If your visitors aren’t buying your product, your landing page may need a makeover. But how can you make your landing page more effective? What makes a great landing page?

In order to be effective, your landing page needs the following: a great headline, an introduction (for people who may not know you), information about what you offer (and its value to your readers), the problem you solve, proof that it works, and an order button (or two).

A compelling headline

A great headline will get attention.  A poor one will be ignored.  If the headline is no good, nobody will read the rest of the copy.   Write a headline your readers can’t resist: create a sense of urgency,  create a contradiction, or promise an easy solution to a hard problem.

An introduction

Remind people why they came to your landing page.  Talk about the problem that your visitor has – which you can fix.  Or, get them excited about the cool tool or exclusive access they’ll get (but only if they buy).

Add more value

Then, you build on that.  Tell the visitor more about the benefits.   You can use bullet points,  but if you want a great landing page, they’ve got to focus on benefits, not features. Say, for example, you’re selling a cookbook.  Tell me about the delicious food I’ll be eating.  Show me pictures of it.  Give me a “taste” of the recipes.  Make my mouth water.  Explain how I can have a great dinner on the table in under 20 minutes (or whatever the premise of the book is).

Answer questions

Sales letters are often long because there’s no live person handy to answer questions.  So, you’ve got to include all of them (or at least the most common ones).

Add even more value

If there’s special access (book and limited consulting slots, special membership forum), tell me about that.  Why is it special?  What will it do for me?

Have a great guarantee.  Explain what it is, show how it removes the risks, and what to do if they need to use it.

Ask for the order

“It’s easy to get your copy, just…(click on this button, call our office, fill out this form).   Give exact instructions.  Spell it all out.  And, make sure you explain what will happen after they do so.  Have buy now links throughout the page — but not at the very top.

Show proof it works

Get testimonials. If your product is new, send out some samples.  If it’s not brand-new, get reviews from other clients who have used it.  Use their words (not yours).

P.S.  Don’t forget the P.S.  It’s an old direct marketing technique.  When people get a sales letter, they read the salutation, then look at the end. Like you just did.  😉 Because, after all, we all want our marketing to be successful; trophies are good too.

P.P.S. If you’re in the U.S., enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.